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After two months of uncertainty, are we starting to see green shoots of hope?

Will life ever go back to how it was before, no one knows, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps now is a good time to rip up the script and start again, look at new ways of working, new ways of communicating with each other and making the world a more friendly place?

One of my clients said he’s thinking about the man he wants to be and the company he wants to own when they return to the office. Is also thinking about how he can make a positive impact on those around him. This must be a good thing, and many others want to come out the other side of this as a better person and leader.

I have always believed that working in recruitment gives me an excellent opportunity to speak to lots of different people at different levels, that allows me the opportunity to gain insight into the general public and how they are dealing with the current COVID-19 situation.

I believe that companies who have treated their employees well will have built a deep and trusted relationship with their employees. This will help them to recover quicker than those who weren’t as helpful as they could be or didn’t communicate well and are now looking around and thinking, what went wrong.

With numerous construction sites bringing people back to work, we will see the economy slowly coming back too. It will, of course, take a long time to recover. I don’t think anyone thinks it will be back to normal, any time soon. People are being asked to take pay cuts, which may stay in place for some time and become the new “normal” salary for certain people, which isn’t great but may be needed to keep the companies afloat.

There are various things that we are doing to ensure that our clients and candidates get the best possible service during this time and I believe the most important thing we can do is talk. I talk to my clients and candidates as much as possible. I understand that after we speak to a candidate, then send their CV to a client that they are probably sitting at home, with more time to think about how their CV looks, if they are suitable for the position and if they will have a job when this is all over.

With more and more people feeling uncertain about their career at the moment, I think it is vital that we communicate the steps with them, give them timelines for feedback and have honest conversations with them as often as possible. We try to do this usually but now more than ever; regular updates can help the candidate.

This is a great time to build relationships with candidates, learn what they want and how we can help them with their next career move, help them with their CV and be a friendly voice at the end of the phone.

For our clients, we try to manage the recruitment process for them as we know they have new issues to deal with, and we want to make the recruitment process as easy and smooth as possible. Simple things that all recruiters should be doing, like sending the shortlist on the day we said, booking in times to discuss and review the CV’s will help keep structure to our diary and theirs.

With existing and new clients, we are spending as much face time with them as possible and inviting other members of their teams into virtual meetings, using Boden Connect. Boden Connect allows us to record meetings and use the video for reference later on, or send it to other members of the team.

It has been great to work with companies who have the confidence and workload to continue recruiting, and it shows candidates how well they are doing that an international crisis as severe as this has not managed to stop them from making essential hirers. I have found that over the last few weeks, my relationship with clients has grown stronger. As I have managed to help them through this period, discussed what others are doing so that they can incorporate it into their own company and put them at ease that others are facing the same daily battles but are coming out in good shape.

We are using technology where we can, which has helped us to meet clients, interview candidates and send solo interviews to clients. With this, we have successfully placed candidates into companies where a telephone interview would not have been enough to make an offer and in turn, has helped those companies to keep moving forward.

Working from home is new to most of us for such a prolonged period, but we adapt, improvise and overcome to be better than we were before. We have daily video meetings, pub quizzes and general chats with everyone who’s working and those on Furlough. We must keep this level of communication up when we are working at home, especially as most recruiters are very personable people and like to talk. We don’t want anyone to feel that they don’t have a voice and can’t make suggestions as to what we should do next. No one has the perfect answer, so the more we talk, the more we learn.

Working from home tips:

  • A few things that we have discovered from working at home is how important it is to have a structure to the day, a start a middle and an end. Otherwise, it can feel like groundhog day and that nothing is being achieved. Our usual measurables are not the same as they were, and we still need to mentally feel we are making small wins throughout the day and week.
  • Set SMART goals for the morning and afternoon and make sure that you have a break to go for a walk, get outside and take a lunch break.
  • Exercise, this is not only important physically but also mentally. People who were not previously very active are seeing the benefits of getting outside, even if it is just for a brisk walk and there are more and more people challenging themselves to 5k runs and other fun activities, which is fantastic.
  • Get ready to work. Set the alarm, eat breakfast, exercise, shower, and get dressed. These small steps can significantly help you get into the right mindset to work and will be better for you than being sat in your pyjamas all day.
  • Talk to each other and get face time with each other where possible. A nice smiley face can make a massive difference to your day, sharing a laugh, a story or a drink can be something that you look forward to wrapping up the day or week.
  • The most important take away that I have got from the last few weeks is how vital mental positivity is. The clients and candidates that I have spoken to who have tried their best to stay positive are the same ones who are finding innovative ways to progress and pull others along with them.

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